ABSTRACT

The historical changes brought about in rural areas by the socialist experiment along Stalinist and post-Stalinist lines coincided with the enormous technological shift of the post-war period. Eastern Europe has yet to experience the counterurbanisation which Western countries are going through and which started in Britain and the USA in the fifties or sixties. Rural conditions are predominantly determined by the means and organisation of food production. The rapid growth of intensive state agriculture brought about greatly increased environmental pressures and hazards. In addition, many large-scale state and co-operative farms have diversified into non-agricultural activities. The successes of the ‘Hungarian green revolution’ have been regarded as something of a miracle all over Eastern Europe. All rural settlements have, to some degree, absorbed the great social changes of the post-war period. In recent years, the environmental awareness of rural people has been increasing significantly and has been expressed in a number of protests, mostly against waste dumping or processing sites.